PEP GUARDIOLA HAS opted not to renew his one-year rolling contract with Spanish giants FC Barcelona.
The 41-year-old, one of the most decorated managers of the modern era, is said to have notified the club of his decision in a lengthy meeting with president Sandro Rosell on Thursday.
Guardiola, who assumed his current role in 2008 following the departure of Dutch international Frank Rijkaard, has lead the Catalans to a nearly unprecedented series of major victories. Indeed, since 2008, the club has won 13 of the 18 trophies it contested.
Known for his diligent commmitment to tactical innovation and stern discipline, the former midfielder has abstained from long-term contractual commitment, preferring instead to highlight the short-term nature of his managerial ambitions.
While rumours of intra-squad tension and psychological fatigue have blighted Guardiola’s reign this season, a trio of high-profile disapppointments in recent days, over the course of which the club relinquished all reasonable hope of ending the season in possession of a major European trophy, are believed to confirmed the coach in his desire to leave the club.
Spanish journalist Guillem Balague explained the situation to Sky Sports:
“Pep Guardiola told Barcelona: ‘I cannot continue; I haven’t got the energy any more to go on.’
“The conversation went on like that. Barcelona were willing to give him everything he wanted… but he insisted he wanted to go.”
Early favourites to succeed Guardiola include Marcelo Bielsa, embattled Roma manager Luis Enrique and Arsène Wenger.